I’m glad for Memorial Day! It gives us that wonderful opportunity to help our children remember who we came from. Children can grow up thinking that they live in the here and now, and that’s all that matters. Of course, those who came before us are vitally important to our own lives, not only because we look like them—we have their physical inheritance—but because without them, we would not be here. We owe them a debt of gratitude and remembering: remembering their lives, remembering what they valued, remembering their sacrifices.
Here’s a great way to help your children get their immediate ancestors all straight in their minds. This simple poster can be a fun Memorial Day project. Print off our page sized version (below) and paste photos onto it to go in a book, or make your own into a big size using poster board to hang on the wall. Gathering photos may take a while, but the effort will pay off. We visit the cemetery on Memorial Day and it is very gratifying when your children are able to recognize the names of their deceased grandparents or great grandparents.
We have a juicy ancestor story to share! My husband Rick’s father worked on the construction crew for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco when he was a young man. As the bridge neared completion, a grand ceremony was planned, with the city dignitaries to be the first to cross the bridge. Our grandpa was a cocky young man and thought it might be fun to be the first person across the bridge, so after helping set up all the regalia for the event, he and his buddy jumped in a car and sped across the bridge, thus making history of the less dignified kind! I don’t think you’ll find it in a history of the Golden Gate Bridge, however.
If you get together with relatives for a Memorial Day, ask your parents or grandparents to tell some of their life stories and jot them down. They will be a treasure as the years go by!
May I recommend: